Out of Time

Speedysnail Test Pattern

See you next month.

15 November 2005 · Site News

The Madwoman’s Underclothes

Like every other thirty-something music junkie in Britain, I’m fascinated by the new Kate Bush album. As fans go, I’m not that fanatical; for years the only Kate records I owned were the Hounds of Love 7”, The Whole Story, The Red Shoes and The Sensual World. But I considered the last to be one of the best albums of the 1980s, so I guess that makes me a bit of a fan. Never felt compelled to explore the early albums, though.

Aerial looks like the one that will compel me. Deceptively low-key on the first few listens, the collective pull of its sixteen modest tugs is strong indeed. Everyone’s mentioning the “washing machine” verse of “Mrs Bartolozzi”, but I can’t get past “Pi” with its early-’70s Pete Townshend synths and the most beautifully sung string of numbers on record. It’s the second disk, though, that makes this the equal of any of her (later) albums; tracks like “Prologue”, “Sunset” and “Aerial” will keep me coming back to it again and again. And while some might see “Aerial Tal” as more evidence of Mad Kate, it takes a rare genius to record something we’ve all done on our happiest, sunniest days: singing along to birdsong.

True, some of the instrumentation sounds dated; many of the soundscapes are familiar from her ’80s and ’90s albums. But because she hasn’t worn them out in the intervening 12 years, they feel less like an artist short of ideas than a familiar signature in the corner of the canvas. If ever there was evidence that it pays not to keep knocking stuff out regardless of inspiration but instead to wait until the inspired moments have accumulated into something substantial, it’s Aerial.

Read More · 11 November 2005 · · Music

Goin’ Mobile

Less than a year after my belated conversion to mobile-phone-dom, I’m reminded why mobile phone companies are teh suck. I figured it would be useful to take my phone to Australia to swap onto a pay-as-you-go SIM there, but of course it’s network locked, and it’s one of those Siemens models you can’t unlock with a handy code from one of the free sites; you have to spend fifteen quid on software and a cable instead.

Read More · 7 November 2005 · · Journal

How forlorn a front page full of links looks. This blogging lark will never catch on.

I’ve been meaning to write, of course, but have been caught in that vicious cycle where if I write to explain why I’m not here I’ll actually have to write here, and then you’ll start expecting me to write here, and then I’ll have to write to explain why I’m not writing here.

Read More · 4 November 2005 · · Journal

October 2005